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Malayalam writer C Radhakrishnan resigns from Kendra Sahitya Akademi

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Malappuram (Kerala), Apr 1 (PTI) Noted Malayalam writer C Radhakrishnan resigned as an eminent member of the Kendra Sahitya Akademi on Monday in protest against this year's Akademi festival being inaugurated by a Union minister, who, according to him, lacks any known credentials in literature.

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In his resignation letter to the Akademi secretary, Radhakrishnan alleged that this was the first time such a thing had happened in the long and illustrious history of the Sahitya Akademi which has consistently upheld the autonomy of the institution against pressures to yield to political clout.

Renowned for his critically acclaimed novels like "Munpe Parakkunna Pakshikal," "Spandamapinikale Nandi", and "Theekkadal Kadanju Thirumadhuram", he stated that all members of the Akademi had protested when a minister of state had participated in the inaugural session of the festival and that subsequently, assurances were given that this would not recur.

Radhakrishnan, however, clarified that he was not against any particular political party and that his protest was against the politicisation of the administration of culture, which erodes the independent stature of the Akademi.

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The author confirmed to PTI that he quit the Akademi due to increasing incidents of government interference in its day-to-day functioning.

The move came a few weeks after Union Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal inaugurated the 39th edition of 'Sahityotsav: The Festival of Letters', which witnessed the participation of more than thousand authors in over 170 languages.

Radhakrishnan said the two other Akademies have already lost their autonomy and he took this step hoping that the President or the Prime Minister would listen to the voice of writers about the latest trend of political interference in the functioning of the Sahitya Akademi.

In the letter, Radhakrishnan said, "Political bosses are now reported to be smarting even to redraft the constitution of the Akademi! Sorry, I can't be a silent witness to the funeral of the very last democratically autonomous institution of culture in the nation." He was honoured by the Akademi with distinguished membership for his literary eminence in December 2022 after an election process. PTI TGB TGB SDP

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